Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Kenyon Mill Fish Passage

The Kenyon Mill fish passage project on the Pawcatuck River is getting underway this month, and will be complete by the end of the year. This project is the last in a series of three projects on the upper Pawcatuck River that will ultimately restore passage for fish up to Worden's Pond. The Shannock Falls dam was removed in 2010, and the Horseshoe Falls dam in Shannock Village had a fish ladder constructed in 2011.
This fish ladder also has an eelway that will assist young American eels with their ascent over this dam.

Together, these projects will open up access to 10 miles of river and 1,300 acres of additional habitat. The Kenyon Mill project involves the removal of an old dam and the creation of rock weirs that will allow fish to swim over the obstruction but will maintain water levels for fire suppression. Kenyon Industries is an active manufacturer on the river, and relies on the water supply.

The project will start with removal of the original structure and then creation of the rock weirs. These projects are an important part of habitat restoration in the Wood-Pawcatuck River watershed, which provides rare and pristine habitats and supports many different species of wildlife. Project partners include the NOAA Restoration Center, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Trout Unlimited, American Rivers, Town of Richmond, RI CRMC and RI DEM. Partial funding came from the ARRA federal stimulus package. Save The Bay supported this project through our partnership with Restore America's Estuaries and NOAA. 

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